Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baked Manicotti

Oh, I'm behind again. I've got several things to post and want to share all of them with you! I'll start with this manicotti though since I've posted a lot of sweets lately. My sister gave me this recipe that she got from the America's Test Kitchens cook book. It's yummy and easy.

Stuffing manicotti can be kind of time consuming and a little messy. Using pre-soaked, no-boil noodles and rolling the filling up inside makes for a quick meal and easy clean up. Feel free to use whatever sauce you have on hand but I really liked the simplicity of this tomato sauce; simple ingredients but lots of flavor. I also added some zucchini in the cheese filling and decreased the amount of ricotta to make up for it. Shred up whatever veggies you like or add in some spinach, or if you'd prefer, stick that extra cup of ricotta back in and leave out the veg.

The recipe makes 16 manicotti. You can bake it all at once in a 9x13 pan or use 2 smaller pans and freeze half of it for another time.

Baked Manicotti
Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 t salt
2 t dried basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta
15 oz. conainter ricotta cheese
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
1 cup finely shredded zucchini, well-drained (or other veggie; some chopped spinach would be good too)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil

16 no-boil lasagna noodles (like Barilla)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F.

Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.

To assemble, pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using a soup spoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in each row, allowing all 16 to fit in the dish). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

The manicotti can be prepared right up until the baking step then covered with a sheet of parchment paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace the aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

SOURCE:America's Test Kitchen via Our Family Kitchen Table

1 comment:

  1. this looks so yummy! I'm adding to next month's menu if I can wait that long!!


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